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Blitz - Welcome to the Rock Show

Blitz
Welcome to the Rock Show
by Max Elias at 27 May 2019, 11:49 PM

BLITZ’ ‘Welcome to the Rock Show’ mixes glam with 70s hard rock for a retro-fueled jaunt down music history. From the opener ‘Believe’, the band aligns itself with the primal bombast of the golden years, with an arena-minded roar and deceptively sophomoric groove. Though there is no acoustic work here, it feels like a power ballad. ‘Rock City Nights’ feels this way too, with the opening lyrics delivered in a mournful wail. The dynamics are exactly right, with muted, understated verses erupting into big chord-driven choruses. In classis radio/arena rock fashion, the solo here is catchy and soaring as opposed to Van Halen-esque virtuosity. The style of rock here isn’t as raucous as glam stalwarts like Mötley Crüe, but is still more polished than bands like AC/DC or Rhino Bucket.

‘Miss America’ ups the ante a little as far as intensity; not only are the riffs meatier, but the vocals sound less sung and more shouted, somewhere between a David Coverdale and a David Lee Roth. I’m not really sure why the band decided to put a breakdown in the last thirty seconds, as it seems unnecessary. Something that metallic doesn’t go so well in hard rock, and in any case is an odd move to end a song. There’s not too much to say about ‘Love Is A War’; it’s a classic if a bit played-out 80s hair ballad, the type that would make ‘real metalheads’ cringe. ‘Rock Me’ kicks off with a riff straight from the 80s, down to the pinch harmonics. That four-on-the-floor drumbeat almost numbing in its consistency has still never been rivaled in terms of headbanging potential. ‘Rock Me’ isn’t innovative or challenging, but it (and all the music it’s based on) doesn’t really have to be. That isn’t why you listen to it.

Blitz does not deviate from their formula; halfway through the album and ‘Queen of the Night’ still rests on a couple chordal, AC/DC-inspired riffs. On the bright side, I finally figured out who the vocalist reminds me of now. He reminds me of the guy from Raven, which is weird to hear sometimes. But it makes sense over Don’t Look Back’, which is harder and more NWOBHM-sounding than the rest of the album. ‘Only the Strong Survive’ is heavier as well; I like the song, I just wish they’d chosen to space out the heavier, glammier, and ballad-y songs more so it didn’t sound as monotone.

The album ends with the same nods to hair metal it began with, even if the vocals are a bit lower and rougher than classic hair vocals. ‘Another World Away’ is classic buoyant early Van Halen or Ratt in the guitar work, and the infectious backbeat is loaded with power. Album closer ‘Born to Rock’ is a big arena-rock crowd-pleaser (as the drum-only chants of ‘born to rock!’ indicate, clearly meant to be played live). Again, as with the album as a whole, not anything especially fresh, not even really too much of an update for modern times, but good, enjoyable rock and roll.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. I Believe
2. Rock City Nights
3. Miss America
4. Love Is A War
5. Rock Me
6. Queen of the Night
7. Don’t Look Back
8. Only The Strong Survive
9. Falling Down
10. Another World Away
11. Born to Rock
Lineup:
Kevin Simpson - Guitar/backing vocals
Mat Davis - Drums/backing vocals
Stuart Corden - Bass/vocals
Record Label: City of Lights Records
     


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